Whole Cloth Quilt Quickie

Dear Sewfie,
My daughter-in-law is having a baby any day now. Even though I had the best intentions of being the Most Awesome Grammy Ever and making a beautiful heirloom quilt for her, I’ve managed to procrastinate to the point of embarrassment. How can I make a baby quilt really quick and save face?
- Granny in a Pickle

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Dear Pickles,
I have two words for you “whole cloth”. OK, maybe three: “Whole Cloth Quilt”. You can totally get away with last minute quilt-making by using a large print or (better yet) a kid’s themed panel. My sister-in-law made a toddler quilt from only one yard of Alexander Henry’s Juicy Jungle – Stripe, which I had gifted to her from my stash.

This Alexander Henry Juicy Jungle fabric looks like 3 or 4 complimentary fabrics sewn together - but it's just a panel... EASY!

This Alexander Henry Juicy Jungle fabric looks like 3 or 4 complimentary fabrics sewn together – but it’s just a panel… EASY!


She sandwiched it with a layer of batting and a cute, colorful zebra (or maybe it’s a horse?) print background fabric. A few quick ties with embroidery floss (approximately 6 inches apart in either direction) and a bright pink polka dot binding later – she was in business! The entire process took her just a few hours.
Alexander Henry Whole Cloth Quilt

You could complete this project in a single evening while catching up on your Downton Abbey episodes!

Warm Stitches,



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How To Line Up Stripes or Designs on Grab ‘n’ Go Clutch

Dear Sewfie,
I’m just sewing your Grab ‘n’ Go Diaper clutch, & wondered how you were able to line up the diagonal lines so well on the main picture of the pattern cover? Is it difficult to do?
- Julia

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Dear Julia,
The key to success in lining up the diagonal stripes (or any design) so well is to line up where the magnetic snap goes FIRST and THEN cut the fabric out… but how do you do THAT? Well, it’s REALLY easy. Here’s what you do:

  • Cut out the Flap piece first. Don’t cut out the Body (yet). Cut out your Flap such that you have your stripes in a nice place. In my case (for the cover model), I wanted a red stripe right near the edge. I just thought it looked cool and I knew I had this awesome red vintage button that I wanted to use.
  • Next, transfer the snap placement mark from the pattern onto the Flap. You can mark it with a pin or some chalk. I like to use pins because they are very precise.
  • Cut out Flap (1) and mark snap placement

    Cut out Flap (1) and mark snap placement

  • Next comes the part where we line up the Flap with the Body. Remember we didn’t cut the Body part out yet. Lay the rest of your (uncut) fabric out on the table. It helps to iron it so it lays nice and flat. Find some area of the fabric which matches up with the Flap, and lay the Flap exactly over that area. You might want to hold it down with a pin or two so it doesn’t wiggle around in the next step.
  • Line up Flap (1) with fabric underneath, matching stripes or design

    Line up Flap (1) with fabric underneath, matching stripes or design

  • Finally, position Body pattern piece (2) under Flap (1). Line up the snap placement marks from the Body and the Flap. Ensure the straight edges are parallel. Now you can move the Flap out of the way and cut out Body (2).
  • Position Body pattern piece (2) under Flap (1)

    Position Body pattern piece (2) under Flap (1)

Your stripes or other design will now be perfectly aligned!

Warm Stitches,

New Quilt Binding Calculator Takes the Math Out

Quilt bindingI like math, really I do. So much so that I went here. Twice. But when I’m binding a quilt, I don’t want to think too much. And nothing bugs me more than being 10″ away from finishing a quilt and running out of binding because the pattern was wrong (what, you mean patterns can be wrong?!) or I did the math in my head and messed it up.

Quilt Binding Calculator… try it!


To that end, I just finished this cool Quilt Binding Calculator to take the math (and the guess work) out of binding your next quilt. Anyone want to give it a go? Please try it out and let me know how you like it. I’m welcome to any and all suggestions to help make it better. Please leave comments!

Boho Shoulder Bag Ready for Summer in Georgia Batiks

Our friends Wanda and Mary Ellen from Little Quilts in Marietta Georgia made this summer-loving version of the Boho Shoulder Bag from Georgia Batiks as part of the 15th annual Atlanta Shop Hop.

Boho Shoulder Bag in Georgia Batiks, courtesy of Little Quilts in Marietta, GA

Boho Shoulder Bag in Georgia Batiks, courtesy of Little Quilts in Marietta, GA


Visit the Little Quilts website: www.littlequilts.com to see the fabric and other kits and patterns available online. The beautiful fabric used for this bag is also available on the Little Quilts website, here.

What is Low Volume Quilting?

Dear Sewfie,

What is “Low Volume” quilting? Apparently, its a “thing”. I’ve been hearing a lot about it, but I don’t get it.

- Volume What?

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A nice example of a Low Volume quilt

A nice example of a Low Volume quilt


Dear Volume Impaired,

Contrary to what the name would imply, Low Volume quilting is not a bunch of lazy quilters that only make one quilt every five years. It’s actually a term referring to what types of colors and prints are used in the fabric selection.

Some describe Low Volume fabrics as low contrast, using a lot of white, light grey and pastels while avoiding bright or saturated colors.

A stash of low volume prints

A stash of Low Volume prints

This isn’t a totally accurate description because although Low Volume fabrics are pale fabrics, with mostly white, cream or pastel backgrounds, they often have accents of brighter or darker colors thrown in for interest. These fabrics can vary from the lightest tone-on-tone fabrics, to text fabrics printed on a light background, to light floral fabrics.

Tips for working with Low Volume fabrics

  • Variety - When choosing Low Volume fabrics, be sure to gather a variety of different types of prints: soft polka dots, light floral prints, tone-on-tone fabrics, soft text prints, and geometrics are all good choices. Even a bold pattern like a chevron can work as a Low Volume fabric if the colors are light enough.
  • Tone-on-tone and even chevrons can be considered low volume

    Tone-on-tone and even chevrons can be considered Low Volume

  • Scarcity - Try using Low Volume backgrounds in just a few blocks from a quilt or sampler. Using just a touch of these fabrics will make the quilt a bit more modern with a touch of whimsy.
  • Fun Prints – Look for fun Low Volume prints such as line drawings of flowers, trees, branches or bikes, or even cartoonish animal prints and text prints.
  • Practice – Try using Low Volume fabrics in a smaller project such as a pillow, table runner, or wall hanging before moving on to working with these fabrics in a larger quilt project.

Any easy way to get started with low volume quilting could be a pillow made up of 2 1/4" "mini's"

Any easy way to get started with low volume quilting could be a sampler pillow made up of 2 1/4″ “mini’s”


Warm Stitches,